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Marine Places

North Pole Cave (N) Reef

A wall reef that begins with a descent through the “North Pole Cave” - a deep chimney that exits near the bottom of the wall. Along the wall to the north, a series of tall, deep cracks shelter schooling jacks, while a large sandy patch at the bottom of the wall marks the turnaround point. Divers return to the boat along the rocky reef top.

Points of Interest

1. Staghorn coral zone – A fragile branching coral species that has become rare in the Caribbean. Damselfish often live among the protective branches of this coral

2. Schooling fish – Mahogany snapper, yellow goatfish, bermuda chub and grunts school together here for protection from predators

3. The chimney – The entrance to “North Pole Cave” is identified by a marker buoy. Divers descend vertically and emerge through a wide crack stretching from 30 m/100 ft to the seabed at 40 m/130 ft

4. Shark zone – Caribbean reef sharks and hammerhead sharks are often seen in this site’s drop-off zone

5. Spiny lobster zone – The shy, nocturnal Caribbean spiny lobster hides in reef recesses and especially under plateform corals during the day, sometimes in small groups

6. Schooling jacks – Look inside this wide vertical crack for black jacks and horse-eye jacks as they school together for protection from predators

7. Red lionfish den – An invasive species from the Pacific that has become a little too successful in the Caribbean in the absence of its natural predators

8. Channel clinging crab cave – This large spiny crab, which can grow to 80 cm/32 in, can be found hiding in reef recesses during the day

Species to Discover

Black Jack, Spotfin Butterflyfish, Caribbean Reef Shark, Fairy Basslet, Bermuda Chub, Schoolmaster Snapper, Pillar Coral, Channel Clinging Crab, Flamingo Tongue, Blue Chromis, Caribbean Spiny Lobster, Saucereye Porgy, Nassau Grouper, Red Lionfish

North Pole Cave (N) Reef Points of Interestzoom image
  • Location San Salvador Island, Bahamas
  • Dive Site 12-50 m (50-150 ft)
North Pole Cave (N) Reef, San Salvador, Bahamaszoom image